My ex-husband and I - we were fighting. So it was a normal weekend. We were at my apartment in Buena Park – I don’t think we had the kids that weekend, so it was just the two of us. Sunny and hot - probably 90-degrees. And he was out in the parking/garage area, working on his truck. It was a 1963-or-so Chevy truck, and he was trying to restore it one piece at a time. He didn’t know what in the hell he was doing and we had no real tools. This was an ‘on the fly’ operation, and smooth as sand in butter. The part about how we were arguing – we were always arguing. I married him anyway. I used to be retarded.
The truck looked something like this:
It looked like this ---> (IIIIIIIIII).
So, with this old truck – there were problems with the steering. He needed to take apart the whole steering column to replace a part and re-pack it with grease and blah blah car repair stuff blah. In order to get to all of the column, the steering wheel would have to come off. As you can imagine, 30 years of rust and dirt and grime had created an almost impenetrable force field around this thing. All the bolty-things had been removed, screwy things un-screwed, and yet there was something wedged down in the steering column against the blah-dee blah steering wheel party thingy, and everything was stuck. Where once there were many, now all was one. Fused, as it were. To put it in a nutshell, he struggled.
But, he had a weapon – a professional tool. He had one of these:
I went out there at one point for some reason, and just stood watching this Poseidon Adventure of a disaster unfolding in a sort of horrified awe. There is no way, on any kind of dare or bet, that you could ever. I mean EVER. Get me to swing a gigantic rubber mallet as hard as I could at a skinny little curved bar right in front of my own face. Even an infant could have seen that this was not a good plan. And this story is not going to end the way you think it is.
I had been back in the house for about a half an hour. It must have happened right after I walked away, and he stayed out there that long hoping against hope that it wasn’t as bad as he thought. But there were mirrors in that truck. He could see the damage. He came in the house, still mad as hell. And across his forehead was a huge red welt. About 2 inches across. And neatly, primly lined up like stitches on a dainty vintage hanky, were the clear, beautiful imprints of those ridges I told you about that were on that steering wheel.
He had yanked. And it had answered. That steering wheel had loosed its grip and he had *yoinked* it right into his own face. And I almost died right on the spot from an aneurism, trying not to laugh. He had to walk around with that red badge of honor shining in the middle of his forehead (and if you think it didn’t swell up as big as an un-canned biscuit, you are crazy) for over a week. And people, there aren’t many ways to get that kind of injury – there was no way to cover that up. The story had to be told. He had to go to work like that. It was awesome.
He and I never, EVER spoke of it. We divorced years ago and I have never seen him again. But to this day, yea, even unto this very minute, this story gives me a small, bright, mean spot of GLAD, right in my soul.